The last time Pawan Shankar was in Belagavi was in March this year, he faced the usual fan moments with people just crowding around him. Back then, he spoke enthusiastically about his film ‘Bhuj: The pride of India’ based on a real war tale. In just about 4 months, Pawan’s reputation has seen a dramatic spike, thanks to his role as an antagonist – Omani, in the film which became his major break in mainstream Hindi films. His role, though part of an ensemble cast, has been acclaimed across sections and he’s definitely in that happy space right now.
Pawan hails from Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) and completed his schooling and a degree in commerce from Allahabad University where he is a gold medalist. Also a National Level Table Tennis champion, he went on to pursue his MBA in Finance from the reputed IMT Ghaziabad. Embarking on a corporate stint, Pawan worked for some of the biggest companies of the corporate world for 4 years. Even back then, Pawan was offered roles and even a post as a newsreader on Doordarshan!
A major turning point was his meeting with famous actor Shatrughan Sinha who was hosting a party at his home which Pawan happened to attend. Upon seeing Pawan, the actor exclaimed who this boy is and why he doesn’t try his hand at films. That triggered a dormant thought in Pawan’s mind. When more people started suggesting this, he thought why not give it a try. That was when Pawan started coming to Mumbai and made efforts in the film and TV industry. He recalls actor Raj Babbar saying “Yeh shehar deta to hai magar thoda waqt leta hai”, which somehow has come true for this talented star.
Pawan credits his acting career to Rajeev Shukla and his wife Anuradha Prasad, the latter whom he owes his first break in the famous TV series ‘Siddhanth’ followed by ‘Vicky ki Taxi’ in which he played the title lead roles. This opened new vistas for him. Though some projects did not see the light of the day, his other TV shows like the superhit ‘Kya hua tera vada’, ‘Thodi si Zameen thoda sa asmaan’, the film ‘Adhure poore se hum’ won people’s hearts. He also won the Best Actor Critics award at the Indian Telly Awards for Siddhanth, a series that won many awards and he was nominated for many more along with International Emmy Awards. His first negative role was in ‘Guddan tumse na ho payega’ which was released in 2019.
Pawan narrates the struggles of those days when at one point, he shot for 190 hours at a stretch with barely a few hours of break. The secret to juggling multiple careers is being organized, he says, adding that success comes to those who never stop trying. Right from 2008, he also managed his business which was started by his wife Yukti Shankar.
Pawan prides himself on being highly organized, a trait he credits to his father and grandfather. Pawan and Yukti established Fashionista, a company that organizes exhibitions of high-end designer stuff and Educationist, across India, especially tier-II cities. Belagavi is one of the cities which was always on his radar for doing business.
Bhuj has been a big milestone he says, adding that though Omani is the antagonist, he isn’t the bad guy. ‘I like to find something positive in everything and every role, looking at the human side of every character, so you actually like the character’, he says, which made even his Omani being liked by viewers though his role was supposed to be that of a clichéd bad guy. The OTT release of a huge film like Bhuj has not affected him because he believes that the reach of OTT is a hundred times more than that of a theatre. Whatever happens in these good times, is a blessing, he says. After being in the industry for 16 years, Bhuj has given him much-deserved success and recognition. He says he’s at a zone where success and failure affect no more, feeling more peaceful at this time. In spite of his immense success on TV and now in films, Pawan exudes that rare classic charm, confidence and humility.
Pawan Shankar has organized Fahionavya through his company Fashionista, an exhibition of designer apparel, accessories, jewelry, home décor and such at Hotel Native by Chancery, near 3rd Railway gate, Belagavi on 26th and 27th August. As he did in March this year, Pawan will be personally present for the event on both days. The exhibition was very well received in March and this time, it offers added exclusive designer goods that would definitely be a hit for the upcoming festive season